[MARMAM] New Publication: A New Way to Determine Extra-Antarctic Feeding in Humpback Whales

Susan Bengtson Nash s.bengtsonnash at griffith.edu.au
Sun Jul 2 14:12:50 PDT 2017

> Dear MARMAM Subscribers,
> My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the following open access
> publication in *Scientific Reports*
> Eisenmann, P.; Fry, B.; Mazumder, D.; Jacobsen, G.; Holyoake, C.;
> Coughran, D.; Bengtson Nash, S. M. (2017) Radiocarbon as a tracer of
> migration in southern hemisphere humpback whales. Scientific Reports, 7,
> 4366
> The Article can be found at: *https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-04698-2#Bib1
> <https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-04698-2#Bib1>*

   Bulk stable isotope analysis provides information regarding food web
interactions, and has        been applied to several cetacean species for
the study of migration ecology. One limitation in    bulk stable isotope
analysis arises when a species, such as Southern hemisphere humpback
 whales, utilises geographically distinct food webs with differing isotopic
baselines. Migrations    to areas with different baselines can result in
isotopic changes that mimic changes in feeding    relations, leading to
ambiguous food web interpretations. Here, we demonstrate the novel
of radiocarbon measurement for the resolution of such ambiguities.
Radiocarbon      was measured in baleen plates from humpback whales
stranded in Australia between 2007      and 2013, and in skin samples
collected in Australia and Antarctica from stranded and free-
   ranging animals. Radiocarbon measurements showed lower values for
Southern Ocean
   feeding than for extra-Antarctic feeding in Australian waters. While the
whales mostly relied      on Antarctic-derived energy stores during their
annual migration, there was some evidence
   of feeding within temperate zone waters in some individuals. This work,
to our knowledge,
   provides the first definitive biochemical evidence for supplementary
feeding by southern
   hemisphere humpback whales within temperate waters during migration.
Further, the work
   contributes a powerful new tool (radiocarbon) for tracing source regions
and geographical

> If you have any questions, please email;

> pascale.eisenmann at griffithuni.edu.au or *s.bengtsonnash at griffith.edu.au
> <s.bengtsonnash at griffith.edu.au>*
> Kind regards,

> *Associate Professor Susan Bengtson Nash*
> Program Director
> *Southern Ocean Persistent Organic Pollutants Program (SOPOPP)*
> Environmental Futures Research Institute (EFRI), Griffith University,
> Nathan Campus.
> 170 Kessels Road, Nathan QLD 4111 Australia.
> *Email*: s.bengtsonnash at griffith.edu.au
> *Phone*: +61 (0)7 3735 5062
> *Mobile*: +61 (0)437 888 711
> *Twitter: *@Antarctica_POPs; *Skype:* s.bengtsonnash; *Website*:
> http://www.griffith.edu.au/environment-planning-
> architecture/southern-ocean-persistent-organic-pollutants-program
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